• SHRM Atlanta Takeaways

    The exhibit hall at SHRM ATL 13

    The exhibit hall at SHRM ATL 13

    I have been back from the SHRM Atlanta conference for a couple of days now and had a chance to gather my thoughts about the event. First and foremost I would like to thank the Board of SHRM Atlanta for putting on a superb event.  It all worked;  the hotel, the meeting rooms, the exhibit hall, lunch and the tweet-up.

    There were a number of familiar faces on-site, all smiling and enjoying themselves.  It was particularly nice to run into Joe Gerstandt and Jason Lauritsen, who apparently brought down the house with their opening keynote address.  Unfortunately, I did not arrive in time to catch them. Those of us in Illinois hold Talent Anarchy in high regard.

    One thing that did jump out to me about this conference was that there was really no regionality to the event.  Any of the Atlanta sessions would have worked just as well in Albuquerque or Anchorage.  This tells me HR shares the same issues no matter where you are in the country – and probably in North America.

    Some other things that I noticed at the event were that HR folks in Hotlanta dress nicer than those in the Mid-West. Many, if not most, of the men had on coats – yeah sport coats or suits.  The women – many dresses.  I told one of my friends Deborah Herman, I expected to hear ZZ Top bust out into Sharp Dressed Man at some point.  This actually was a nice departure from what I have become used to.

    I was somewhat surprised at the continued lack of adoption of twitter by HR Pros.  I took  a look at Tweet Reach and only found 707 tweets for the event. (Although I do not know what that time frame represents.)  There were a number of the social media luminaries there, but overall I really didn’t feel the twitter big buzz.  Nonetheless, Jim Stroud and Teela Jackson took it upon themselves to do some heavy lifting on  the twitter stream for the conference.

    Probably the most interesting thing I encountered in the exhibit hall was a booth selling Pet Insurance as an employee voluntary benefit. VPI Pet had two representatives on site and they were working the crowd very well.

    I did get to attend a few sessions (so I could grab some of those old HRCI re-cert credits).  I caught the end of Joe Gerstandt doing “No, Great Minds Do NOT think Alike.”  Joe gets an A+.  I also caught Beth Miller speaking on Multi-Generational Management.  I give her a B+.  She needed to have her twitter handle out there so folks could mention her in their tweets.  And the only other session I attended was one that Teela Jackson commanded me to attend (not really).  Jennifer Mc Clure did an encore presentation of her program “From HR Leader to Business Leader.”   Her room filled up early, and there was simply no place left for anyone to sit.  So the ever gracious Jennifer did it again. A+

    Julie and I getting ready

    Then capping off the day were the last break out sessions at 3 PM on day two of the conference.  This was my reason for being there. I, along with my co-presenter Julie Moreland Senior VP from PeopleClues presented, as advertised, a highly interactive session, on HR Thinking Creatively.  I would like to thank Julie and People Clues for giving me the opportunity to work with them.  I would really also like to thank the 30 or so people who stuck around and joined in our session. It was an excellent group – diehards; each and every one of them. I do need to call a few of the folks out by name – Deborah Herman, Chris Havrilla, Lisa Watson and especially my friend Mike Haberman.  They all stuck with us, and Mike was gracious enough to talk about our presentation in one of his blog posts on SHRM ATL.  SHRM Atlanta ’13 was great experience for me. I got to visit with and make some new friends, meet up with some old friends, and I was a presenter at an awesome conference – a pretty good way to spend a couple of days out of  the office.

     
  • Review of Social Gravity

    Recently on a trip to Florida I was afforded the opportunity to read Social Gravity. The book is an excellent read.   For the purposes of full disclosure, I must admit that I am friends with the authors. I have come to know them through their public speaking engagements, and my involvement with some of the organization that have paid them to speak at events.

    From my experience the authors,  Joe Gerstandt and Jason Lauritesen did it differently than most folks out on the speaking circuit. It seems that most authors write a book and then go out on the road to promote their book.  These two guys have worked their way up from the trenches and now are addressing audience of 1000+ people.  Now they have a book under their belt. The book is very representative of the way and the type of subjects that these guys speak about.

    The book Social Gravity speaks to the intersection of networking, social media applications and a changing workplace.  Throughout the book, they ask the reader to make lists, action plans or perform evaluations by listing items. It is somewhat reminiscent of a seminar (of one).

    In the book they push the reader to identify how they network, as well as how they feel about networking in general. And so after a little bit of introspection, then Jason and Joe unabashedly tell you how it really works.  Next they throw the subject of technology on top of networking.

    With your new found knowledge the authors then push you to use you this knowledge as they fully explain what the Six Laws of Social Gravity are and how to use them to your advantage.

    I enjoyed the book. I got a lot out of it. And these guys to me,  are like an old favorite band. Whenever they put out a new recording I would purchase it – no questions asked.  Whether in person or in print Joe and Jason have a track record of putting out great material.

    I think you should buy and read this book!

     
  • Hacking with Talent Anarchy

    Joe giving a hacking group some input.

     

    Attending HR Florida has given me another opportunity to catch the Talent Anarchy  duo again.  For  the purposes of full disclosure I will say I like Joe and Jason, and come down squarely in their corner as a supporter.   Understand that when you read this post.

    Today I attended a three hour session on what they called Hacking. Now if you are like me you might think that the session had would be related to cracking computer security, but it was not.  Actually the session involved solving problems and breaking them down into their smallest, most understandable/manageable unit.

    After understanding the problem, then the two guided the attendees into how to create repeatable solutions.  In performing the exercise in the session, we had groups of 5-6 people that were reorganizeId three different times.  In an interesting twist, they had the group create a scenario, then we reorganized groups and then re-addressed the matter, and then repeated the re-grouping to complete the tasks.

    This was a hands-on session.  It was well orchestrated.  Joe and Jason were acting more as facilitators today rather than presenters.  They performed equally well in this role.  These guys are going to be around for a long time and have a lot to say.

    And for the record they have a new book which has been published recently.   The book is called Social Gravity, and I will be writing a review of it after wrapping up at HR Florida.  More later from HR Florida…